CFP Enrolled - Finished SIE - Series 65 next?

Hi! I used Achievable for the SIE and really enjoyed the course - it was definitely the reason I passed. I’m looking for a little help on the next course to take.

I’m aspiring to making financial planning my second career. I’m enrolled in a CFP education course, but also want to start thinking about other ways to move things forward. My long-term hope/goal is to become a flat-fee or AUM-fee financial planner.

I can’t really quit my existing job anytime soon, so I probably won’t be able to get a sponsorship. Is Series 65 a smart next move so I can start working on some of my work hours towards CFP and start getting experience on the side?

It appears that S65 enough is to start giving advice, but is series 65 enough to manage investments for clients? I’m not trying to sell any securities at this point (which definitely seems to require more than a 65), but I’m not sure if directly managing investments requires more than a 65 or not. The internet isn’t super clear on this, and obviously I want to focus my efforts on what makes the most sense.

Thank you for your time!!

P.S. I know the SIE wasn’t really a pre-requisite, but I felt I should start with that one to see if I was even capable. I didn’t want to go all in with the CFP or harder one like S65 if I couldn’t even pass the SIE, sort of thing. =)

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Hi @Eric_Rippetoe, congrats on passing your SIE!

Disclaimer: We’re educators; you need to talk with a compliance expert. I’m happy to provide you with some high-level info, but as every situation differs, you need to talk with someone about your specific goals. The details matter and will impact what licenses/registrations you need.

Here’s a blurb from NASAA’s website regarding the Series 65 (emphasis mine):

The examination, called the Series 65 exam, is designed to qualify candidates as investment adviser representatives. The exam covers topics that have been determined to be necessary to understand in order to provide investment advice to clients.

So yes, in general, the Series 65 is meant as a license to qualify you to give investment advice for a fee. But, if you want to manage their investments, it is very likely that you might need a license like the Series 66 instead.

Here’s a blurb from NASAA’s Series 66 page (emphasis mine):

The examination (also called the “Series 66”) is designed to qualify candidates as both securities agents and investment adviser representatives. The exam covers topics that have been determined to be necessary to provide investment advice and effect securities transactions for clients.

The devil is in the details - I hope this gives you a path forward to seek the right professional advice!

Thank you for the info! It’s still a little murky, and I’ve reached out to a compliance organization and my state securities organization to understand it a little better.

To help you understand the cloudiness, the Series 66 site also states you have to have the Series 7 (which you can’t do without a sponsoring brokerage)
Please note, the FINRA Series 7 is a corequisite exam that needs to be successfully completed in addition to the Series 66 exam before a candidate can apply to register with a state. You may take either exam first but must complete both satisfactorily.

And NASAA says the Series 65 is "is designed to qualify candidates as investment adviser representatives. " …

…and NASAA’s FAQ says this about an IAR:
An investment adviser representative generally is a person who, for compensation (1) makes any recommendations or otherwise renders advice regarding securities; (2) manages accounts or portfolios of clients; (3) determines which recommendation or advice regarding securities should be given; (4) solicits, offers, or negotiates for the sale of or sells investment advisory services, or (5) supervises employees who perform any of the foregoing. Only states register investment adviser representatives, not the SEC, but those who must be registered include individuals working for both state and SEC-registered firms. See SEC Rule 203A-3 and applicable state rules.

So I THINK a Series 65 is sufficient enough to give advice and directly manage portfolios on behalf of clients, but it’s not even clear on NASAA’s own website. Hopefully, the compliance company or my state securities people will help. Thank you again!!

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